Novak Djokovic Opens Up About Coaching Change, Olympic Goals, and Season Strategy

Published on 04/07/2024 9:30 p.m.

Video duration: 7 min Interview with Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic in Monte-Carlo. (France TV)

The world number 1 spoke to France Télévisions before entering the Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo, which started this Sunday.

On the sidelines of the Monte-Carlo Masters 1000 which began on Sunday April 7, Inès Lagdiri-Nastasi was able to speak with world number 1 Novak Djokovic, for France Télévisions. After an exceptional year 2023 with three titles and a Grand Slam final, the resident of the Principality looks back on his complicated start to the season, his separation from Goran Ivanisevic and his goal of winning the Olympic Games with the Serbian jersey.

Francetvsport: You recently made the decision to part ways with Goran Ivanisevic, why such a change of coach?

Novak Djokovic : I think we have reached a breaking point. I gave him my best, like him for me, so the separation was positive, we remain friends. All the results we have had are incredible, he is one of the greatest tennis coaches in history. Now a new chapter opens for both of us and I am focused for this tournament and this week. I’m here with my friend Nenad Zimonjic who was Davis Cup captain. I know him well, he has known my character and my game for years. We are here without commitment and we will see after the tournament what strategy we will adopt for the future.

Novak Djokovic training on the courts of Monte-Carlo on April 6, 2024 with Nenad Zimonjic, who accompanies him for the tournament after his separation from Goran Ivanisevic. (FELICE CALABRÒ / MAXPPP)

With your experience, do you think you can manage on your own, without a coach?

We can say that yes, it is part of my thinking. I have a lot of experience and I know my game, so I can stay alone, but for now I like being on the court with Nenad Zimonjic. I don’t know if we will keep this situation after the tournament, I have no guarantee, but for the moment everything is going well.

After an exceptional 2023 season, is there a desire for change to find these results?

It’s not the start to the year that I expected, but that’s normal when you face Sinner or Alcaraz who are very high level players. I have only played two tournaments and I have a lot of opportunities left to get back to playing better. Before the season, I announced that I wanted to reach my best level for Roland-Garros, Wimbledon, the Olympic Games and the US Open.

“This three-month block is my priority, everything else is a bonus.”

Novak Djokovic

at Francetvsport

So the Olympic Games are at the center of your season?

Yes, it’s a real objective, it already was in the past. This year, it’s on the courts of Roland-Garros which I know well, so it will be perfect for preparation, even if we will have to do a stint on grass in London with Wimbledon. The Olympics are always something special, it’s a privilege to represent Serbia, so I hope to do well.

Precisely, this change of surface may be complicated…

It’s complicated, but it’s not something that’s unusual, it’s normal. In tennis, there are different tournaments on different surfaces almost every week, so adaptation is a skill that you have to know how to develop.

Jannik Sinner is having an incredible start to the season, do you consider him your main rival?

N.D : Sinner and Alcaraz are one of my two main rivals, but many players can beat me as was the case with Luca Nardi at Indian Wells (123rd in the ATP rankings at the time of this meeting). Everything is possible. For me, the priority is to regain my quality of play. Once I have regained it, I can win all the biggest tournaments.

2024-04-07 19:30:47
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